Tractor market: peak of sales towards end of year
Registration data on agricultural machinery showed a sharp gain in the closing months of 2015 which made it possible to end the year with a small increase of 1.4% over 2014. Also combine harvesters showed signals of recovery whereas still on the decline were agricultural transporters. Decisive support came from European Union Rural Development Programs, RDP, and the wait is on for the effect of 2016 incentives planned by the government
Registrations of tractors and other agricultural machines requiring license plates took a turn upward in the final two months of 2015 to lift the year-end balance sheet over the level of forecasts.
The sales trend on the Italian market was negative for most of the year but clear growth took hold in November for a gain of 37.8% and continued in December, plus 50.9%.
These surges resulted in sales for the full year of 18,428 units marking a 1.4% increase over 2014.
The strong registration drive towards the end of 2015 returned the statistics to the positive side after six consecutive years of downturns.
The figures compiled by the Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation, FederUnacoma, on the basis of Ministry of Transport data, were assigned mainly to the proliferation of requests for financing under RDPs, mostly funded by the EU, ahead of the administrative deadline set for the end of 2015.
Also the combine harvester market grew to reach sales of 345 units for a 6.2% increase whereas trailers, with 9,301 units moved, dipped by 1.7%.
Still struggling were agricultural transporters which moved from 908 units sold in 2014 to 684 units to show a substantial plunge of 24.7%.
Aside from data on the national average, the tractor market took differentiated trends according to the regions: the Emilia Romagna Region reported a big drop of 31.3%, the decline in Lombardy came to 10.5% and was down by only 3.4% in the Piedmont Region; at the other end, above the national average were the Veneto region moving up 4.7% and Lazio, ahead 4%. To help boost market recovery during 2016, FederUnacoma has on the drawing board initiatives to spur farmers to make better use of the RDP funds available and further drive could be added to the market with the implementation of measures announced by the government allocating € 45 million for the acquisition of agricultural machinery in the framework of policy aimed at improving safety standards for farm work.
Positive results could come with the start in 2016 of mandatory revision of the oldest machines in these inventories, those registered before 1973, to instigate farmers to finally solve the problem of obsolete equipment through the purchase of new machines.